One of the difficulties in a virtual economy is the ability to build rapport with the other person and one article from the Harvard Business Review elaborated on this. While there were many excellent observations and points, one that was particularly relevant pertained to virtual meetings, specifically when the author noted when it was most appropriate to use virtual conferencing technologies as well as why it is important for businesses to embrace these technologies (York, 2020). Even as states and communities continue to open up fully, small businesses must not overlook what we just experienced as a national and global economy: we went 100% virtual and life kept going – and for some, effectiveness and efficiency improved.
As small business owners, we do not have the luxury of waiting for everything to “go back to normal” or “go back to the way things were” before COVID-19 hit. If there is anything we can learn from this experience, it is that the American economy will continue to press onward, even in a 100% virtual world. Moreover, we also learned that many functions can be conducted very well in a virtual world without having a need for brick and mortar office space which, in turn, indicates a very realistic change in behavior at both the consumer and company levels. The question that we, as small businesses, must ask ourselves, is this: what are we doing to ensure that we thrive in a virtual economy? We know that our economy will continue to become more virtual, so what are we doing to ensure our businesses thrive in that environment? The answer to this question will vary widely but, as one example, we, at The McGraw Council, embraced digitalization and virtual reality to help us achieve our vision of educating, uniting, and advocating for small business.
How will you embrace digitalization to thrive in a virtual economy? You may or may not have the answer to that question right now, and either answer is okay, but now that you know where we are heading as an economy, you should strive to find the answer to that question if you do not yet have it. We know the direction our economy is heading and it is now up to us, as small business owners, to act upon this in order to ensure that our American Dream lives on.
John M. Beaman
President of The McGraw Council Membership, Inc.
York, D. (2020). How to build rapport… while wearing a mask. Harvard Business Review. Hbr.org. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2020/09/how-to-build-rapport-while-wearing-a-mask?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_campaign=dailyalert_notactsubs&deliveryName=DM98987